Help Keep Items Out of the Landfill by Properly Sorting Recycling – Redheaded Blackbelt


This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

The Environmental Services Department encourages all community members to properly sort their recyclables before tossing them in the bin.

It is currently estimated that 25% of what goes through Humboldt Recology’s sorting facility is sent to the landfill, and sorting recyclables properly is critical to keeping recyclable material out of the landfill.

It is important that green waste materials go in the compost bin, while cardboard, paper, glass, metal and plastic containers are tossed in the recycling. Here are some additional tips on how to property sort recyclables, courtesy of the Environmental Services Department:

● Recyclables must be clean and dry when placed in the bin, so be sure to empty all food residue and liquids from food containers, cans, bottles and jars before tossing them. If there is a small amount of residue remaining, give it a quick rinse to ensure you will not contaminate other recycled paper or plastic products. To conserve water, rinse the containers with sink water after you finish washing your dishes or wipe containers with an already soiled paper towel or napkin.

● Recyclables must be placed loosely in the bin. Recycling that is bundled up in plastic or paper bags will not be sorted down the line as it creates a potentially dangerous situation for Recology workers who sort items by hand. If there are sharp items in the bag, they pose a safety hazard for the Recology team.

● Break down cardboard boxes to save space in the recycling bin to make sure it does not overflow.

● Make sure items placed in the recycling bin are actually recyclable. Items commonly mistaken for recyclables include plastic wrapping from items like frozen foods, cereal bags, chip bags, plastic wrapping for toilet paper, all waxed cardboard items including frozen food boxes and pizza boxes, and disposable plastic shopping bags. The best way to avoid being a wishful recycler is to check out Reclogy’s “What Bin” webpage at to determine if an item is destined for the landfill, compost or recycling bin.

To view Recology’s recycling guidelines, please visit . For more information and zero waste tips, please visit or call the Environmental Services Department at (707) 822-8184.

Recology’s Recycling Guidelines

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